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  • Taking a break...

    Hi folks,

    I was wondering if any of you have ever contemplated taking a break from kendo (1+ years) and then followed through with it? What were the effects?

    I've been entertaining the idea of taking a break from kendo for a while now, but obligation to my kohai and the need for at least some physical activity have hitherto relegated this only to fantasy.

    Last time I took a break (4 yrs ago), it was only for 3-4 months and when I came back I'd actually improved a lot (well, after working out the rust).

  • #2
    Well, hopefully I can give you an answer in a few months...

    I have been away from Kendo for a while now (2+ years...) and intend to start it up again this fall.

    At least my interest hasnt declined.

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    • #3
      I started when I was 14, then gave up for seven years. Since starting again I haven't had another break longer than about 6 weeks. I feel like it was always there. Can't help regretting those 7 years a bit though, imagining where I could have been now. You can't progress as far as an adult as you can as a child/teenager IMHO. Still I think the grounding was there when I returned. The movements were familiar. Short breaks often do seem to have the feeling of improving my kendo too. At least for the first couple of trainings. It's good to clear the body/mind of kendo totally sometimes.

      b

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      • #4
        Yes I've found that taking a break certainly works. Not too long of a break though. It seems to help me work out some strange habits . Right now I'm just off my two week break and it feels great. My wife who is my sensei as well has seen the improvement! This is a really strange thread because we were just talking about this last night after practice! Seems like the learning curve changes a bit. THANKS CKLIN!

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        • #5
          i find that short breaks - even of a week or so - often have a beneficial effect - maybe sometimes you need to let the dust settle in your mind a bit, before you can move on?

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          • #6
            I haven't been practicing long enough to take a break yet. My wife on the other hand has. She started Kendo in grade school in Japan. She came to Ca for school as a Junior in highschool. She had no idea there was Kendo here so she never practiced. We meet and she decided to stay. To make a long story short, after 12 years off we started to practice together. She made 2dan on her first try and got at least one trophy in every taikai her first year back.

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            • #7
              I have been in a break for 4 years, after one year praticing every day. Unfortunatly, this was not a voluntary break.
              I hope I can benefit from this break when I come back to kendo next year.
              In the first year of my break, I got depressed and had problems to sleep. I really felt the absence of kendo.

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              • #8
                My experience is similar. I have taken breaks of 1 to 3 years in many of my sports (rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking and kendo) and found them to be very beneficial.

                I have noticed several reasons for this. First, you won't get back into a sport (or an art) you aren't really interested in so, when you do get back in, you find yourself taking it alot more seriously than you did before. Second, it gives you time to forget some of your bad habits and at the same time allows you to get excited about doing the basics again. Third, it is common to both mentally and physically overtrain. In those cases if you don't take a break, you will burn out.

                I would recommend, though, that you continue doing something to keep up your fitness. I would also recommend that you put as little pressure on yourself about picking kendo back up in x amount of time.

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                • #9
                  One Gentlemen in our dojo took a break for 30years! and has started again and is doing well.
                  I think kendo is one of the few arts you can pick up again in your 50's and do well.
                  However everyone who has come back after a long time invariably mentions where they could have been except for the missed years.
                  My own experience was taking a month out (travelling abroad) before a grading, and I think I was a lot more relaxed at the grading than if I had sweated in the dojo every day up to the grading.
                  j

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                  • #10
                    I dont think I can take a break from kendo.
                    I feel really bad when I miss one practice.

                    I would take a break from kendo only when my dojo is close, if not i'm always there.

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                    • #11
                      Now there is no way I would want to take a break. But I took a decade or so off from age 9 to age 26. Training is a life long pursuit not a simple matter of taken a break. If you ride the ups and downs of Kendo and bugger on, there is no limit to where you can reach. Anyway do what is best for you. Take a month off and see how you feel.

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                      • #12
                        kendokamax wrote:
                        >I dont think I can take a break from kendo.
                        >I feel really bad when I miss one practice.
                        >
                        >I would take a break from kendo only when my dojo is close, if
                        >not i'm always there.

                        That's a great attitude!

                        I used to feel that way too the first couple years I started playing.

                        I guess I am now in my 7th year of kendo and my attitudes have changed somewhat, even though I'm still very much a beginner.

                        Back when I first started, I had a lot of drive to improve, but for the last year or two, I've noticed that drive dissipate. Now, I find that I'm starting to think that it's good enough to maintain my level of kendo and a healthy interest... and I'm having some real trouble deciding whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.

                        A large part of it has to do with the necessities of my dojo life, since our sensei visits from Japan once a year. So for the large part of the year, I've been put into more of a "coaching" role, particularly for beginners. We get an influx of new students every year and I'm pretty much the person who helps them along up until they can integrate into the the "advanced" keiko.

                        So, I "lose" about 6 months of practice every year. When I do finally get back into keiko, I feel rusty all the time and well, that's kind of a downer...

                        Has this happened to anybody? If so, how did you compensate?

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                        • #13
                          I had an enforced break after an accident about 8 years ago. I was off for about 4 months with a leg injury. I went back as soon as I could, and got really frustrated as my brain was still telling me I could still move as far as previously, my arms were still as quick, but my distance was out by about 18 inches... My students thought I was making fun of them at first, and I initially couldnt work out what was wrong! I got that angry at myself I stopped for another year as I couldnt bear not being able to do kendo properly, meanwhile continuing my iaido practise. I had an iaido student who said that they wanted to try kendo, so I promised to get him started, realised how much I missed it, and went back again. I now have all but 6 inches of my previous distance back and dont do competitions any more, just enjoy myself instead!

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                          • #14
                            I missed one month of kendo for vacation and I felt rusty for 2 weeks, but I think I improved because I watched the Canadian Championship in Vancouver. It's good to take a break once a while but it helps to watch some kendo; you "mentally" practice your kendo...

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